Learning Across Disciplines

“From my past [GEP] classes, I can see that a lot of the GEP courses are very similar in the way that they involve a lot of researching and critical thinking. I feel throughout all these courses, I have been taught a lot about researching different topics and finding the best ways to utilize these methods.

For example, in this class [U.S. History: 1877-Present] we are researching different museums and in a humanities class I took a year ago, we had to research different places we wanted to go visit and see. Even though they were different periods of time being analyzed there was the same method of engaging the students to research and apply the course in our own ways.”

– Undergraduate Student enrolled in U.S. History: 1877-Present

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Melody A. Bowdon Ph.D.

Interim Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning,
Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies

Message from the Vice Provost

UCF is committed to making students’ earliest semesters at the university a positive and productive opportunity for planning and preparation for the future. Dr. Melody A. Bowdon, interim vice provost for Teaching and Learning and interim dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies explains the university’s to transform its General Education Program (GEP).

Over the past two years, UCF’s College of Undergraduate Studies has worked diligently to lead the development of a new model for general education that will promote student success, leverage and help to institutionalize our Quality Enhancement Plan through an emphasis on integrative learning, and support the development of a genuine sense of community and cohesion among general education students and faculty.
 
In conjunction with this effort, a team of faculty fellows from the Colleges of Arts and Humanities and Sciences worked to secure broad campus buy-in for such a model. After studying existing programs across the nation, reviewing the literature within the field, evaluating UCF student success data, and engaging with more than 100 stakeholders (including faculty, administrators and staff) and an even larger number of students on campus, the team helped to develop an innovative and exciting program that will help students to make and articulate meaningful connections between and among the courses they take in their early semesters at UCF, establishing the GEP as an academic foundation for their thinking throughout and beyond their undergraduate experiences.

Students in the refreshed GEP program will see strong connections between and among their courses at the university and their other life experiences, like co-curricular activities, work experiences and community engagement. They will be able to connect their earliest coursework at the university with their broader life plans, and their learning will be strengthened through the process.

Faculty have the opportunity to collaborate with each other to think about their course curricula, teaching strategies and assessment methods, building a strong collaborative community with an eye toward student success.

The program will have a soft launch in fall 2019 with more than 60 faculty members incorporating the new learning outcomes and teaching strategies into their courses. We expect that all GEP courses at UCF will be aligned with the new approach by spring 2020.

Integrative General Education Experience

Five program-level learning outcomes will provide students with a cohesive learning experience that will enable them to plan, connect and reflect as they move through their foundational learning experiences.

Cultural Interactions

Per Danielsson, Ph.D.

Understand common human themes, have an awareness of diverse cultures, and understand the cultural, historical, economic, and social implications of what they learn. READ MORE

Communication

Andrea Scott, Ph.D.

Become successful writers, speakers, and producers of digital materials in their academic, civic, and professional worlds. READ MORE

Knowledge Application

Bo Chen, Ph.D.

Understand scientific methods and connect and apply them to challenges facing society. READ MORE

Problem Solving

Rachid Ait Maalem, Ph.D.

Be well-informed citizens who can reason and apply analytical, statistical, and computational methods to the challenges of a globally-diverse and technologically rich environment.  READ MORE

Interpretation and Evaluation

Patricia Farless, Ph.D.

Assess and decipher information in a world full of conflicting sources. READ MORE

Faculty Fellows

Christa Diercksen, Ph.D.

Associate Lecturer
Department of Biology

Joe Gennaro, Ph.D.

Associate Lecturer
Department of Music

Amanda Groff, Ph.D.

Associate Lecturer
Department of Anthropology

Ram Mohapatra, Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Mathematics

Daniel Murphree, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of History

Debbie Weaver, Ph.D.

Associate Lecturer
Department of Writing & Rhetoric